Philosophy Psychology of Success

Laid Off Docs: You’re Heavy and You’re Not My Brother

July 29, 2013

He was laid off. How long would it take to find a job? What about the kids and their education? What would his wife say? That he should never have taken that job in the first place? That he should have never sold his practice?

Corporations exist to make a profit. There’s nothing wrong with that. It’s a fact of life. One that I am all in favor of. Just keep your eyes open.

Non-profit corporations are corporations. They are not really non-profit. That is a lie. They exist to make a profit, too. They dress up as if they are not about profit when the reality is that they are simply not about paying taxes.

Because all corporations exist to make a profit, they will always seek to lower their costs. That includes employment costs.

In the economy in general, employers are rushing to decrease full time employment. They are using temps. They are outsourcing. They are replacing workers with technology.

Yet in healthcare, physicians are lining up at a rapid rate to become employed by hospitals. According to a recent survey, 40% of physicians are now either employed by a hospital or by a medical group controlled by a hospital.

Why do these physicians believe that employment by hospitals provides safety or stability when the world around them for other employees, unskilled, skilled and professional, is being rocked from the ground up?

Sure, running your own medical practice or group may be complicated. It is easier just treating patients and collecting a paycheck. But healthcare employers are not substitute parents. Sure, parents may kick you out of the house, but employers fire you or lay you off and never invite you back for the holidays. Sure, they may refer to their ex-employees as “alumni” but that is in part is to assuage their own guilt and in part to put on a facade for the already blind.

Oh, I suppose it is easy once you’re laid off or fired. Now there’s no thinking required and no work to do. None other than the little stuff, like how do you take care of your family, how do you eat, and, right, how do you start your own practice?

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